People & Culture

Jan 28, 2024
Ed Kralik Celebrates 10 Years at Arthrex With a Trip Down Memory Lane

Arthrex, Inc.

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of meeting his wife, Helga, Process Engineering Senior Manager Ed Kralik used his 10-year Trip of a Lifetime to take his wife back to where their relationship first began.

“It was the summer of 1993, and we were both in Germany for internship programs,” Ed said. “I was in Freiberg, and my now wife was in Göttingen.”

The committee overseeing both of their internships organized a meeting for all of the interns in Berlin.

“She was ‘the girl from the bus in Berlin’ - that’s what I called her,” Ed said. “Even though we’ve told our story hundreds of times, I’m still amazed at how we met and the instant connection we had.”

Ed and Helga spent that weekend in 1993 touring all the major landmarks: the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate and the Sanssouci Palace.

And then three years passed before they saw each other again.

“This was back in the days before the internet, so during that time we stayed in touch by writing letters.”

In 1996, with the Summer Olympic games in Atlanta, Ed, who was living in Savannah at the time, invited Helga to come visit and go to the games with him.

“The connection was still there, like we had just seen each other yesterday,” Ed said. “That’s when we started dating, and we’ve been together ever since.”

Arthrex, Inc.

The first half of Ed’s Years of Service trip was spent revisiting all the places he and Helga had gone to see that first weekend together, stopping for an updated photo in front of the Brandenburg Gate and braving the cold to once again walk along the gravel paths around the Sanssouci Palace.

“It was amazing to see how much had changed in 30 years, and yet, seeing those places again immediately took us back in time.”

The second half of their trip was spent in Portugal, recreating the first overseas trip Helga took as a child.

For two self-described “history buffs,” Ed said Portugal was an incredible destination.

After spending a few days in Lisbon, visiting the Sao Jorge castle, the Baixa Pombalina and the Santa Justa Lift, an elevator built in 1900 to connect pedestrian traffic on the lower streets to streets higher on the hillside, Ed and Helga rented a car and set out to see more of the country.

First, they stopped in the coastal town of Nazaré, which is believed to have gotten its name from a small wooden statue of the Virgin Mary brought to the area from Nazareth. Then they traveled to Porto and the Douro River Valley – the source of true port wines.

Other stops during their road trip included Fátima and Tomar, both full of history and legend.

“Our time was spent with a mix of nostalgia and the thrill of discovering new sights. This trip was more than just checking off bucket-list items; it was a celebration of where we began and an opportunity to create new memories.”

Arthrex, Inc.

Ed said that he felt very fortunate to be able to take this trip.

“My wife and I are thankful for the opportunity offered to us by Arthrex, and I personally recognize how truly blessed I have been to work for such an amazing company.”

For every five years of employment with Arthrex, employees are eligible for a company-paid Trip of a Lifetime to recognize their dedication. Look for more Trip of a Lifetime highlights on the Arthrex FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn pages.